Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Organizational planning, management, governance & marketing

Each year, the Center for the Future of Museums highlights trends that they believe are of significance to museums, based on their scanning and analysis. In 2017, these trends related to empathy, civil rights, artificial intelligence, involuntary migration, and agile design. Each essay outlines the theme, implications for society, implications for museums, and existing museum examples.

Based on data from various American sources including the National Awareness, Attitudes, and Usage Study from IMPACTS Research and Development, this brief research post indicates that “there is a long lead time in peoples’ intent to visit cultural organizations – even for locals”. On the other hand, “the time between a ticket purchase and redemption is very quick”.

This report aims to provide a “nuanced picture of consumers’ preferences and behavior across a broad cross-section of performing arts organizations”, including four in Canada and 54 in the United States. An online survey in August 2017 received 26,996 responses from performing arts ticket buyers.

“Intended to contribute to more effective practice in cultural development planning”, this online resource could be used either to help create a new local cultural plan or assess an existing plan. The framework provides measurable outcomes for cultural activity in each of five domains (cultural, economic, environmental, governance and social).

Sector Developers for Independent Theatre in Toronto

This report, “largely based on 29 interviews with staff, participants and related stakeholders”, explores two initiatives that support independent theatre makers in Toronto: Generator (“a capacity building and mentoring organization for independent performance makers”) and The RISER Project (“a collaborative and charitable approach to production and presentation”).

Noting that “social finance tools create opportunities for investors to finance projects that realize both financial and social returns”, this report outlines existing literature related to social finance and how it might be applied toward the arts.

Culture Track summarizes survey findings related to Americans’ cultural engagement as well as the “attitudes, motivators, and barriers to participation”. The top motivators for cultural participation are having fun (chosen by 81% of respondents), interest in the content (78%), experiencing new things (76%), feeling less stressed (also 76%), and learning something new (71%). Across all types of cultural activities, the top barrier to participation is the belief that “it’s not for someone like me”. Survey results indicate that “audiences have different needs and wants at different times – or even simultaneously”.

The nine video presentations in this series outline findings “from three years of strategic experimentation and shared learning” by seven arts organizations, with the overarching goal of better understanding “how to engage with audiences and build communities”.

Based on a survey of digital marketing in 130 American arts organizations, this report indicates that “organizations invested more in digital [in 2015], but challenges around funding and expertise limited digital effectiveness”. Theatres were the largest group of respondents (34%), followed by presenting organizations (22%) and museums (12%). Previous iterations of the survey covered performing arts organizations only. The survey found that 80% of responding organizations had redesigned their website within the past three years and that 51% of respondents’ tickets were sold online.

An Assessment of Opportunities, Issues and Challenges

In a context where “a sizeable group of Canadians” have “identified mediated performance experiences as equal to attending live performances in person”, this report provides an initial assessment of challenges and opportunities related to digital innovation in the performing arts (and for arts presenters in particular). The report indicates that a key question for performing arts presenters is whether and how they will be able to continue to play a role as intermediaries between artists and audiences in a fully digital realm.